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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Intelligence of a Little Bird and My Frozen Brain

I was almost ready to enter the house when I heard the distinct call of a bald eagle. Earlier, during my walk, I had seen a large bird high above me being chased and harassed by some crows. I quickly got my camera and went out to the road again, hoping to catch sight of the eagle and his pursuers. No such luck!

While I was standing there, a chickadee zipped past my head, and then two more flew to a nearby poplar tree. One perched in a spruce tree close to where I stood. I began to wonder why they were around me; I had just topped up the bird feeder and put out more suet cakes. Surely they had more important things on their minds, like stoking up their little bodies against the cold, instead of visiting with me. I finally gave up on the eagle, but not before another chickadee landed at my feet and sat there for a couple of seconds. It's true. I'm not joking. I headed back up the driveway, turning to glance in the direction of the feeders. That's when I saw what the problem was and the reason why I had become so popular all of a sudden. The grosbeaks were hogging the bird feeder! The poor chickadees couldn't get to it and had been trying to attract my attention. I scattered more sunflower seeds on a snow bank and on top of the ash can lid that also serves as a platform feeder.

This photo of one spunky small bird was taken several days ago.

Black-capped Chickadee